Chernihiv Eparchy reports on planned provocation against UOC

Such stickers were found on the gates of the cathedral and monastery of the UOC in Chernihiv. Photo: orthodox.com.ua

In Chernihiv, unknown persons carried out a planned provocation to discredit the UOC.

On Thursday, August 16, unknown persons pasted provocative leaflets on the gates of the cathedral and monastery of the UOC in Chernihiv, the press service of the Chernihiv diocese of the UOC reported.

Stickers on the gates of the Trinity Cathedral and the Assumption Convent contained the name of the object, but with the postscript “Russian Federation” in a larger and brighter font, as well as a link to Article 12 of the Law of Ukraine on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations (on renaming). The leaflets were pasted as if the representatives of the UOC had done it themselves.

At the same time, a campaign with incitement to hatred against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was launched on social networks. According to the Chernihiv diocese, this specific campaign is the key to understanding the task the authors of the leaflets set themselves.

For example, on August 16, when the stickers were found, at 8:59 am, local activist Darina Kozubova posted on Facebook a photo of the leaflets in someone's hands. “This morning, my women took it down from the walls of the Yeletsky Monastery,” she wrote, while expressing her indignation with obscene language. Information about the leaflets was presented as if they had been posted by the nuns themselves.

The UOC responded to slander and incitement to hatred of believers.

“This is a deliberate humiliation of all clergy and believers,” the Chernihiv diocese said. “We are not talking about such things as honor and dignity. Thus, Article 35 of the Constitution of Ukraine guarantees everyone the right to freedom of world outlook and religion. This right includes the freedom to profess any religion or not to profess any, to freely practice, individually or collectively, religious cults and ritual ceremonies, and to conduct religious activities. A similar provision is enshrined in Article 3 of the Law of Ukraine "On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations".

The Office of the Chernihiv Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church believes that the planned provocation carried out on September 16, 2021 and the deployed information campaign on social networks is a means of leverage and an attempt to establish control over religious organizations, therefore it asks to ensure compliance with the constitutional principle of freedom of beleif and religion, and to help stop disinformation on the activities of religious organizations in Ukraine.”

As the UOJ reported, Archbishop Nikolai said that renaming the UOC is the same as renaming Ukraine.

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